City hosting dog amnesty month
The City of Airdrie is hosting its first dog licence amnesty month.
From May 1 to 31, residents can purchase licences for dogs without paying a penalty for not previously having done so.
“Get your dog licences so if the dog does get out, we can return it to you,” said Darryl Poburan, Airdrie’s manager of building inspections, municipal enforcement and RCMP. “That is the most important thing. Dogs are an extension of your family.”
City staff estimates that 10,000 dogs live in 16,000 homes within Airdrie. However, only 5,557 dog licences were purchased last year.
According to Poburan, the City’s bylaw enforcement officers responded to about 12,000 dog-related complaints last year and impounded about 150 dogs. Most of the animals were licensed.
However, if owners can’t be located, impounded dogs may have to be euthanized.
“We feel if it is one dog that is euthanized each year, it is one too many,” said Poburan. “If people get licences… we can return 100 per cent of those dogs to their owners.”
Airdronians who don’t licence their dogs also contribute to an inaccurate population estimate of the animals, numbers needed by City staff to help plan for future dog-related services such as off-leash areas.
It also creates a burden on taxpayers, who are then forced to subsidize the cost of bylaw officers to handle complaints about dogs, such as bites, barking and strays.
The City expects dog owners to license their dogs at three months of age. The cost of an annual licence is $50 for an un-neutered or non-spayed dog and $30 for a spayed or neutered dog (proof required).
After May 31, owners of unlicensed dogs will be susceptible to a $250 fine and will still be asked to get a licence.
“After June 1, it is zero tolerance,” said Poburan. “They won’t get a warning, they will get a fine.”
Residents can purchase licences at City Hall and, after June 1, at 2 Highland Park Way, in the new police building near the Costco distribution centre.
Renewal payments can be mailed to: City of Airdrie, 400 Main St SE, Airdrie, AB T4B 3C3.